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Minister claims 'great strides forward' in workplace pension enrolment

More than seven million people have now been put into a workplace pension by their employer due to a landmark retirement savings drive, figures show.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said 7,050,000 eligible people have now been placed into automatic enrolment.

Eventually, around 10 million people are expected to be newly saving or saving more by 2018, generating around £17 billion a year more in workplace pension saving by 2019/20.

Automatic enrolment was launched in 2012, starting with the biggest employers which tend to have more experience of pensions, and it is now being rolled out among small employers.

Pensions Minister Richard Harrington said: "We have made great strides forward by automatically enrolling seven million people into a workplace pension - now the challenge is to make sure that everyone can benefit from a financially secure retirement, including those working for the smallest employers.

"Next year more than 700,000 small employers will see their workplace pensions duties start and my message to them is clear: don't be daunted, there is help and support out there. Setting up a pension scheme can seem complex, but the Pensions Regulator has a simple step by step guide available to help."

Charles Counsell, TPR's executive director of automatic enrolment said: "Over the next year the numbers of employers needing to act will rise again sharply. We have already written to them about what they have to do, and we encourage them to look out for letters from the Pensions Regulator and not to leave their preparations until too late."

On Monday, the Government announced a review of automatic enrolment, to consider its success to date, and explore ways that the policy can be further developed.

The 2017 review will also examine the automatic enrolment thresholds for triggering saving and the age criteria for when people will start to be automatically enrolled.

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